|Christmas Card 2003, first time we were too buy to get all of us in one place in the right mood for a family picture.|
|The river in summer is warm but the ocean can be really cold|
|At Jedediah Smith National and State Park|
|The kite festival|
|fern canyon, parts of Jurassic Park 2 were filmed here|
|Harris Beach by Brookings, OR|
|Our yard is perfect for boys and cats|
Once again I sit down to review the year and am blown away by the speed with which it has flown by. Greg and I are constantly running jut to stay in the same place it seems. In fact, we recently looked at each other and admitted that we've both been feeling depressed, not about things we don't have but because we're overwhelmed by having too much - too many activities we've said yes too, too many "cherished" object cluttering our home - too many "delightful" pets - too many dishes - usually dirty etc., but I do have a sign in my kitchen that says, "Praise God for Dirty Dishes - at least you have food."
So why is 2003 so overwhelming? Probably because O didn't deal with it in 1999, or 2000 and so on. Our method for instance, with dealing with coming home to a sink and counter full of dirty dishes is to load up in the van and go out to eat.
Also, I'm subbing every day now and Greg is not just teaching but working on the Children's Community Choir which he started last year, then the boys want to say yes to everything, soccer, fiddle, trombone, choir, birthday parties, plays, overnights, 4-h, and on and on. I'm still writing my books and going to writer's conferences - - oh my gosh - we'd jut about kill to sleep in one day!
Anyway, enough moaning about the ditch we have dug ourselves into - we are slowly building a ladder to pull ourselves out of the hole and there is light overhead.
I'm glad Thanksgiving comes right before I sit down to review the year because it's nice to remember all the good things we have to be Thankful for, and with us the things we complain about and the things we have to be thankful for are the same list.
So in 2003 we didn't travel much, which is unusual for us. We didn't go to Wyoming either for Christmas 2002 or this previous summer. Consequently we've dug a little out of debt, and refinancing the house helped more. Then Greg went to Marysville in the heat of summer for 2 weeks worth 0f classes that gave him enough credits to move across the pay scale. But the gains were off set by the fact that our boys haven't seen cousins and grandparents or most Aunts and Uncles since 18 months ago. We are still in debt, but this Christmas we're going to Wyoming because we also feel we can't afford to miss any more family time right now.
Again I see the blessing and the problem sides - - we have OK jobs, Ok insurance, great friends, an Ok house (although pack ratted to the max) a great neighborhood, a great yard (although under maintained) all of this is either wonderful security, or a rut we're half wanting to - half afraid of moving out of.
Goodness! I sound so gloomy this year and what it really is, is exhaustion. And even though this is a Christmas letter - our family had, is having, a very hard time letting go of summer this year. Instead of being thankful for the days we had swimming in Jade Green rivers and walking in ancient redwood forests and running our greyhounds or going to kite festivals at the beach - we're whining because we can't do it NOW.
Nov. 29, 2003
The previous pages were written while I was trying to look interested at a teacher training. Now it is the 8th day of our amazing 9 days off (all of Thanksgiving week and 2 weekends) - and the 4th day in the cabin at Gold Beach. Suddenly (I owner Why?) There is nothing the slightest bit gloomy or depressed about my attitude.
I have been sitting by the fire, listing to the sea gulls and the waves, talking to Greg, Vince and April and Stuffing myself on pies and poppy seed rolls. Painting rocks, hangout in the hot tub and snuggling my boys. Here life is simple - the house is empty so the people and outdoors are important.
|Austin in 4th grade until this June with Mrs Haggard|
|Emerson with 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Peep|
So I hope 2003 has been kind to you and I look forward to the cards and letter which flood our mailbox for the next month before leaving it a desert with only the thorny bills appearing there.
Sure we're greedy. Life for the most part has been yummy enough to keep us wanting more. Love you!
Dixie, Greg, Austin and Emerson